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Sowing Success: Classroom Cultivates Grant to Grow Healthy Habits

Middie Rising
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Sowing Success: Classroom Cultivates Grant to Grow Healthy Habits

Feb 23, 2024
Two young girls smile for the camera while planting seeds in new food lab.

A grant from the Elks National Foundation is helping unearth a golden opportunity to grow healthy eating habits and hands-on learning experiences for students at Rosa Parks Elementary.

The foundation says it chose Rosa Parks Elementary for the Beacon Grant, totaling $2,000, because the school sits in what's known as a "food desert," meaning there are no grocery stores or fresh food stores within walking distance.

Thanks to the grant, a section of Passport to Tomorrow teacher Courtnie Puckett's classroom will be transformed into a miniature food lab. Through guided lessons and interactive sessions, students will learn about agriculture, sustainability, nutrition, environmental stewardship, and responsibility.

Through the food lab, students will also be able to ultimately reap the rewards of their labor, by also learning how to cook healthy recipes.

"It's so amazing to see an idea like this come to life," Puckett said. "This project will be able to expose students at Rosa Parks Elementary to an opportunity they might have never been able to experience.”

With the Beacon Grant, the Middletown Elks Lodge #257 purchased all of the materials needed for the project including seeds, dirt, fertilizer, hot plates, lights, pans, cooking utensils, and storage racks. Members of the lodge hand-delivered the materials and assembled the entire food lab.

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